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Gilded Age Politics: 1870-1896 Patronage: undeservedly giving government jobs. Patronage: undeservedly giving government jobs. Provide jobs in exchange.

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Presentation on theme: "Gilded Age Politics: 1870-1896 Patronage: undeservedly giving government jobs. Patronage: undeservedly giving government jobs. Provide jobs in exchange."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gilded Age Politics: Patronage: undeservedly giving government jobs. Patronage: undeservedly giving government jobs. Provide jobs in exchange for votes, kickbacks, and political party service. Provide jobs in exchange for votes, kickbacks, and political party service. Roscoe Conkling- U.S. Senator from NY. Roscoe Conkling- U.S. Senator from NY. Spoils System: system in which winning candidate received the spoils of political victory. Spoils System: system in which winning candidate received the spoils of political victory. Led to corruption in politics Led to corruption in politics Winners used system for political gain. Winners used system for political gain. Administration change=replacing thousands of jobs --- Daily functioning of gov’t hard. Administration change=replacing thousands of jobs --- Daily functioning of gov’t hard.

2 Widespread Reform Reform=change Reform=change Civil Service System replaces spoil system. Civil Service System replaces spoil system. Merit Based System: Gov’t jobs based on abilities, not political views. Must be qualified Merit Based System: Gov’t jobs based on abilities, not political views. Must be qualified A Two-Party Stalemate

3 Well-Defined Voting Blocs Democratic Bloc Republican Bloc oWhite southerners (preservation of white supremacy) oCatholics oRecent immigrants (esp. Jews) oUrban working poor (pro-labor) oMost farmers oNorthern whites (pro-business) oAfrican Americans oNorthern Protestants oOld WASPs (support for anti-immigrant laws) oMost of the middle class

4 Very Laissez Faire Federal Govt.   Govt. did very little domestically.  Main duties of the federal govt.:  Deliver the mail.  Maintain a national military.  Collect taxes & tariffs.  Conduct a foreign policy.  Exception  administer the annual Civil War veterans’ pension.

5 Election of 1876 Hayes defeats Tilden. 2 groups: Reformers vs. Stalwarts 2 groups: Reformers vs. Stalwarts Stalwarts: supported spoils system Stalwarts: supported spoils system Conservative Republicans who believed the most effective political strategy was to keep your political constituents happy Conservative Republicans who believed the most effective political strategy was to keep your political constituents happy Constituents: groups of voters who support a specific political party and/or candidate. Constituents: groups of voters who support a specific political party and/or candidate. Reformers: called “Half-Breeds” Reformers: called “Half-Breeds” Moderate Republicans who supported civil service system enacted by Democratic President Hayes Moderate Republicans who supported civil service system enacted by Democratic President Hayes

6 Gilded Age Essential Questions #1 1. Explain the term patronage as it relates to politics. Provide an example. 2. Compare and Contrast pros and cons of the spoils system and the civil service system. 3. Compare and Contrast the Republican and Democratic voting blocs. 4. Explain how the government applied the term laissez-faire to the federal government. 5. Compare and contrast Stalwart Republicans and Reformer Republicans. 6. Define constituents. How might a politician use constituents to their advantage?

7 Election of 1880 James Garfield (Republican) vs. Winfield Hancock (Democrat) Garfield wins election---Garfield=Reformer Garfield wins election---Garfield=Reformer

8 1881: Garfield Assassinated! Charles Guiteau: “ I Am a Stalwart, and Arthur is President now!”

9 Chester Arthur: Former VP & Stalwart supporter Becomes a reformer/half-breed Becomes a reformer/half-breed Pendleton Act of 1883: made gov’t jobs based on merit system Pendleton Act of 1883: made gov’t jobs based on merit system Positives: more expertise and less politics, most federal jobs were under civil service Positives: more expertise and less politics, most federal jobs were under civil service Negatives: political parties began relying on funding from businesses and entrepreneurs. Negatives: political parties began relying on funding from businesses and entrepreneurs. Does not run for reelection Does not run for reelection He is a Stalwart He is a Stalwart He is a Half-breed He is a Half-breed No true identity!!!!!!!

10 1884 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland James Blaine * (DEM) winner (REP)

11 Election of 1884

12 Grover Cleveland: Democrat Tariff: tax on imports Tariff: tax on imports Big Businesses dependent on high tariff Big Businesses dependent on high tariff Republicans support high tariff Republicans support high tariff Democrats support lower tariff Democrats support lower tariff Low tariff=lower prices Low tariff=lower prices Laissez-faire presidency: Opposed bills to assist the poor as well as the rich. Vetoed over 200 special pension bills for Civil War veterans---angered veterans

13 The Tariff Issue  After the Civil War, Congress raised tariffs to protect new US industries.  Big business wanted to continue this; consumers did not.  1885  tariffs earned the US $100 mil. in surplus!  Tariffs became a major issue in the 1888 presidential election.  Cleveland’s support of lower tariffs played role in him losing election

14 Gilded Age Essential Questions #2 1. What is a tariff? Explain key differences between Republicans and Democrats. 2. Discuss the presidency of Grover Cleveland as it relates to tariffs. What was his stand on tariffs? How did the tariff issue impact the Election of 1888? 3. Why is it that we say Grover Cleveland had a laissez- faire Presidency? Which particular voting bloc did he anger? 4. What is the Pendleton Act of 1883? Discuss pros and cons of the piece of legislation. 5. What happens to President Garfield almost immediately after he wins the election of 1880? Why doesn’t Chester Arthur run for reelection?

15 Election of 1888 R- Benjamin Harrison wins Supported by companies who were for high tariffs Supported by companies who were for high tariffs Americans wanted the federal govt. to deal with growing societal & economic problems & to curb the power of the trusts: Interstate Commerce Act – 1887 Sherman Antitrust Act – 1890 McKinley Tariff – 1890 Based on the theory that prosperity flowed directly from protectionism. Increased already high rates another 4%! Rep. Party suffered big losses

16 1888 Presidential Election

17 1892 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison again! * (DEM) (REP)

18 Cleveland Loses Support Fast  Only President to serve two non- consecutive terms.  Blamed for the Panic of  Defended the gold standard (worth more than silver)  Used federal troops in the 1894 Pullman Strike: in response to a large reduction in wages, 3000 workers strike in Pullman Illinois.  Refused to sign the Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894: slightly reduced the United States tariff rates from the numbers set in the 1890 McKinley tariff.  Repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act: increased the amount of silver the government was required to purchase every month.

19 Election of 1896 R- William McKinley defeats D- William Bryan R- William McKinley defeats D- William Bryan McKinley forged a coalition between businessmen, skilled factory workers and prosperous farmers McKinley forged a coalition between businessmen, skilled factory workers and prosperous farmers Able to bring prosperity to America Able to bring prosperity to America Spanish-American War: America loves wins! Spanish-American War: America loves wins! U.S. gains territory in Caribbean Islands U.S. gains territory in Caribbean Islands Theodore Roosevelt serves in battle Theodore Roosevelt serves in battle McKinley reelected---Assassinated in 1901 McKinley reelected---Assassinated in 1901 Theodore Roosevelt becomes President launching a new political era---Progressivism Theodore Roosevelt becomes President launching a new political era---Progressivism

20 Gilded Age Final EQ’s 1. Explain the overall significance of Grover Cleveland’s second term in office. 2. Why does Cleveland lose support quickly into his second term as President? 3. Discuss the overall impact of the Spanish- American War on public opinion. 4. Describe the following pieces of legislation: Interstate Commerce Act, Sherman Anti-Trust Act, Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894, Sherman Silver Purchase Act, and McKinley Tariff. 5. Opinion: Why do you think this political era can be called the “era of the forgotten President?” Explain.


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